I’ve been procrastinating this post for six weeks now. Partly, I wanted to wait until I had some really good pictures of the dress to show my three loyal followers. Partly, I didn’t want to admit that the biggest project I’ll ever take on (in size and emotional value) is over, and it’s all downhill from here. Partly I’m a bit scared of putting pictures of myself on the internet because I don’t know if you guys know this but the internet can be a pretty weird, mean place sometimes.
But hey, what the hell. I spent two years knitting a wedding dress and I actually pulled it off and here are some pictures of it. (Photo credit to my sister, Jessica Skintges Wallach.)
Post-Project Analysis: Was it worth it?
I’m not going to make any revisionist claims about the process of making this dress being anything other than a complete pain in my and my husband’s asses for two full years. It SUCKED to make this thing. Almost every part of making it sucked worse than the last part. The closer I got to finishing it, the worse it was when I tried to put the shapes of the skirt together and realized I had missed the tiny writing on the sewing pattern that said “make two.” Once I was done with it, I laid it flat on my futon mattress and it sat there, completely untouched, for two months. When I put it on the day of my wedding, it had GROWN FOUR INCHES LONGER. (Apparently cotton lace does this. Do not knit lace with cotton yarn.)
But that’s just the beginning of all the ridiculous shit that went wrong for my wedding. Our best man couldn’t make it because his heart quit working, our outdoor ceremony got rained out, I cried non-stop for about an hour (happy tears, but it still fucked up my makeup real nice), we couldn’t get the mic to work so nobody could actually hear the ceremony or toasts, I got an inch-long splinter in my arm setting up tables before the rehearsal….etc., etc., etc. But for everything that went stupidly, horribly wrong, something awesome happened. Instead of having our ceremony outside, we got to have it in our beautiful, amazing venue. And as our friends, family, and superhuman venue staff were setting it up, I lamented aloud that we hadn’t rented an arch to mark where we were going to stand. Someone asked the event coordinator if they had one, and she said “No…but we do have a giant inflatable dinosaur. Do you want that?”
So we had a dinosaur at our wedding.
And while everything was completely collapsing around me and it felt like the wedding was ruined and we should just pack it in and go home, I had my dress. I had labored over it for years and now I was wearing it, and that was pretty damn cool. So ultimately my advice to anyone thinking about taking on a big project with an obvious deadline, like a wedding dress, is to really think about whether you have the time and patience for something that is frankly a really dumb idea, and to remember that the things you make with your hands will be there even if everything else sucks.
Our wedding did not suck. Kinda the opposite. Everything went wrong, and it was absolutely perfect.
Thank you all for following along on this long, crazy journey. And be sure to tune in next time, when I knit myself a car!
P.S.: Also I made some flowers. The woman who wrote the patterns is a genius and you should go to her shop and buy all of her things.